Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) together with with Enhancing Behavioural Change of Boda-Boda Riders in Uganda Using Mobile Learning (EBoML) have published results of their several research aspects conducted about the Ugandan Boda boda industry.
Speaking at the EBoML Research Dissemination Workshop held on Friday May 28, 2021, the Deputy Principal, College of Education and External Studies (CEES) and EBoML Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Paul Birevu Muyinda noted that although the Boda-Boda industry employs more than 50 percent of youth, it lacks order, the riders have limited or no savings and they face a myriad of health risks.
The goal of EBoML is to professionalise the Boda-Boda industry in Uganda using Mobile Learning (mLearning) for positive behavioural change of Boda-Boda riders.
“We therefore developed a multimedia-based Positive Behavioural Change virtual mLearning Environment (PBC-mLE) for self-paced and/or assisted lifelong learning in; safe-driving principles, health-living and entrepreneurship,” remarked Dr. Birevu.
According to their research about the risky sexual behaviour in the industry, 65.7 percent of the riders reported that they had sex with one to two sexual partners in the past 12 months, 23 percent had engaged in sex with three or more women in the same period. On an alarming note, 57 percent of the riders reported that they did not use a condom in the past six months prior to the survey.
The researchers therefore sought to find out the number of women impregnated by the riders in the last twelve months. Whereas the majority (53 percent) reported that they hadn’t impregnated any women in the period, 36 percent had impregnated one, 6 percent two, 4 percent three and 1 percent four or more.
Further examination of the relationship between riders and the women revealed that whereas 35 percent had impregnated their wives and 5 percent their girlfriends, disturbingly, 1 percent had impregnated a student and another 1 percent a stranger. 4 percent admitted to impregnating a girl/woman who was neither a wife, nor a girlfriend, nor a student, nor a stranger. The majority (54 percent) opted not to state their relationship with the woman they impregnated.
Transactional sex between Boda-Boda riders and clients who fail to pay cash for their trips has often been talked about but with no figures of its extent.
Findings from the EBoML team revealed that whereas 88 percent of Boda-Boda riders reported that they do not engage in transactional sex, 12 percent admitted to engaging in the practice.